Still, as Wardle explained, the fact that both applications were signed off by Trend Micro and approved for the App Store by Apple should give users reason to be cautious when looking to get new software from even the Cupertino-sanctioned official portal and trusting Apple's own security protections which were in this case circumvented.
This included data from various browsers, separate files dedicated to recent Google searches, and a complete list of all apps installed on the system (including code-signatures, whether they were 64-bit compatible, and information about where they were downloaded from). Already, there are calls for Apple to consider hiring an independent board to oversee app store approvals and make this area more transparent.
Multiple apps developed by Trend Micro are no longer available in the Mac App Store after researchers showed they were collecting browser history and information about users' computers.
Some of these apps are Adware Doctor, Adware Medic, Dr.
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Thanks to the permissions it has, namely the possibility of accessing browsers, it is consulting and collecting users browsing history. You might expect this to be a problem with third-party app stores for Android devices, but some might be surprised to learn that Apple is having an issue with nefarious developers and apps offered for download on the highly-guarded Mac App Store. While users should always be wary of giving home access to apps in macOS, some apps do need access to it to work properly. Soon after the original report caught steam, Apple pulled all the apps in question from the Mac App Store.
The well-known security app, of course, Adware Doctor is one of the most widely used and well-known security applications on macOS, dedicated to detecting and eliminating malware and other security issues.
If you are the user of the well-known security application Adware Doctor then it is time to remove the application from your Mac and stop being spied on by an app for which you paid.
The security breaches were reported by researchers Thomas Reed in Malwarebytes Labs, Patrick Wardle of Objective-See and @privacyis1st. The user is not alerted to this data gathering. Over the weekend, the saga continued with revelations that several other apps in the Mac App Store were doing the same thing.